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It is ‘The Apostle Santiago and his disciples adoring the Virgen del Pilar’, a oil painted between 1775 and 1780

Presentation of the painting in 2013 at the Zaragoza Museum.
Presentation of the painting in 2013 at the Zaragoza Museum.GOVERNMENT OF ARAGN
  • Art Goya’s painting goes up for auction for two million euros

The painting entitled ‘Appearance of the Virgen del Pilar to the Apostle Santiago and his disciples’, the work of Francisco de Goyahas not found a buyer in the auction, declared void, that the Alcal de Madrid room held this Thursday, with a starting price of two million euros.

It is the second time that the canvas has not been awarded at auction, on the previous occasion in 2011 it went on sale for 4.5 million euros.

In addition to the theme, the painting is closely related to Zaragoza, in whose provincial museum it was presented on May 18, 2013, the International Museum Dayin an act headed by the then president of the Government of Aragon, Luisa Fernanda Rudi.

Also in attendance was a representative of the owner familyFernando Espinosa de los Monteros, who revealed that the painting had been acquired in his day by his great-grandfather and that, given its subject, the family had been unanimous in their desire to deposit it in the Zaragoza Museum.

The Goya that goes to auction for two million euros.
The Goya that goes to auction for two million euros.

The formula chosen for the deposit in the Aragonese capital was that of the loan, that is to say temporary deposit without economic consideration.

It was in this museum until 2018 when the Government of Aragon tried to declare the painting of Cultural Interest (BIC) Goyasomething that puzzled the owners.

They did not understand what was sought to be achieved with such a declaration, since the painting already enjoyed enough protection having been declared non-exportable by the Spanish State.

They suspected a possible try to hold it or appropriate it, or at least reduce their ability to decide on the painting.

Against that attempt, the owners planted a battle, won it and they recovered the lionwhich belongs to the Rosillo collection, embodied by several families from a common trunk.

The painting remained for more than five years in the Saragossa Museum until the aragons executive tried to declare it BIC.

According to public Herald of Aragonthe problem is that he made “a serious mistake”, since the law establishes that movable property can only be declared BIC by the Government of the nation or by an autonomous community, provided that their residence is established in this owner.

What the owners of the painting reside in the Community of Madrid, they asserted that condition during the pleading periodthey lifted the deposit and took the painting on December 13, 2018.

According to the aforementioned sources, after the false step, the Government of Aragon I filed the file on February 14, 2019, quietly so that the skid would go unnoticed.

Acquired in the early 20th century

The day of the presentation Luisa Fernanda Rudi pointed out that the fact that the Zaragoza Museum was able to exhibit a new work by Goya was due to the “generosity” of the family Espinosa de los Monteros Rosillo, “to whom I express my most sincere gratitude.”

For his part, Fernando Espinosa de los Monteros thanked the good disposition of the Government of Aragon during the transfer process. And to the direction of the museum that made possible the unanimous desire of the family to be able to temporarily assign said workwhich was acquired by his great-grandfather at the beginning of the 20th century.

Was the first time that ‘The apostle Santiago and his disciples adoring the Virgin of Pilar is exhibited in a museum.

Until then he had always remained in private hands and it had only been shown to the public on the occasion of the exhibition ‘Goya and the infante Don Luis, the exile and the kingdom’, held this same year in the Madrid’s royal palace.

For this reason, in July 2012 the workshop of Restoration of the Prado Museum He carried out a cleaning process on the painting, removing overpainting and applying a thin layer of varnish. Currently it is in good condition and it is inexportable.

It was made known by the Marquis of Lozoya in 1951 in his article ‘Two Indian Goyas on religious themes’ and, later, endorsed its author specialists such as Gassier-Wilson in 1970, Jos Gudiol in 1970, Jos Camn Aznar in 1980 and 1982, and Jos Luis Morales y Marn in 1990 and 1994.

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J. A. Allen

Author, blogger, freelance writer. Hater of spiders. Drinker of wine. Mother of hellions.

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